At every console launch companies try to tout that they have something for everyone. They often reference the variety of genres that are represented in the available games. One thing I like to do with a new console is take it for a spin with a racing game, as I feel it can help give me a good feel for the new system. It’s been awhile since a Nintendo system had a racing game at launch, so Fast RMX definitely intrigued me. Is Fast RMX another Nintendo eShop game to soon be forgotten, or is it something that will be taking me away from my adventures in Hyrule on a regular basis?
Fast RMX is a Nintendo Switch console exclusive and is essentially an upgraded version of Fast Racing Neo, which was released on the Wii U eShop a few years ago. I never played the earlier title and did not know what to expect going into this remixed racer. It has been drawing a lot of comparisons to the F-Zero and Wipeout games due to a similar setting and the antigravity vehicles.
The controls are simple enough with your standard buttons for gas, brake, and boost, but the game also introduces the ability to cycle the color of your vehicle from orange to blue and vice versa. Each track features sections that have either orange strips or blue strips. If you match up the color of your vehicle with the corresponding section of track you will get an instant speed boost. If you are the opposite color when driving over one of these strips your vehicle will be penalized and slow down a bit. This unique gameplay mechanic is what sets Fast RMX apart from other racers, and it really is a fun addition to the game that adds some strategy and will keep you on your toes. There is also a standalone boost that you build up by collecting orbs on the tracks and then using R button to boost. You’ll want to utilize this strategically to maneuver around your competition.
The modes in the game are pretty standard fare for a racing game. The main single player component is Championship mode. Here you will unlock more courses and gain access to the fifteen different vehicles in the game. Along with this there are three levels to unlock.
There is also another single player mode called Hero mode. Here you are required to take first place in each race. To make it even more challenging, your boost meter is also tied to being a damage/shield meter. Between this and the difficulty of some of the courses (more on that later) it can be a bit daunting as you will need to start over if you crash or destroy your vehicle. Depending on the player, this mode could prove to be very frustrating, but I felt like it gave me a good sense of “one more try” as hitting the retry button started the race over again very quickly.
Of course, what is a racing game without multiplayer modes? You can play locally or online and both can include up to eight players. Playing locally was a lot of fun with everyone in the same room hurling insults. I played with three others so the game filled out the roster with four more competitors to make for a total of eight racers. Although it was fun, somehow I don’t think this will be the multiplayer game we’ll play after we get Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in a little over a month. For now it will suffice.
Going online I was able to quickly join a group, but each time I had to wait until the current race was finished before being able to start a race. At times it’s a little annoying having to wait to begin playing, but it makes sense. At the time of this review there isn’t a way to race against friends, but the developers have stated they are working on a free update that will implement this feature. The online racing was fun and it worked as you’d expect, but it didn’t keep me captivated.
Many times racing games live or die by how memorable their tracks are. The good news is that Fast RMX has a very respectable number: 30 courses. For the most part I really enjoy the variety of tracks, many of which feature a wide swath of unique environments. The graphics get the job done with an impressive 60 frames per second rendering at 1080p in TV mode. It also looks fantastic on the Switch screen when playing in Portable mode. The developers have done a great job in giving personality to each track, something not easily accomplished in many futuristic racers. One of my favorite tracks is essentially a tube that you are able to race on and you can rotate around the entire thing. Although the weather effects, like rain and snow don’t really have an impact on your racing, they add to some punch to the visuals and make a pretty game even better and more immersive.
My biggest gripe with the tracks, and really my issue with the game, is that many of them are designed in ways that obstacles or walls appear too quickly to react to, leading to many collisions and frustrations. It can be the blue shell to your 1st place finish in this game. I suppose that memorizing the courses is one solution, but with thirty courses at your disposal you’ll need to play a lot before this problem disappears.
Overall I have enjoyed my time with Fast RMX. I am not sure how much lasting appeal it will have, especially when other racing games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe arrive on the Switch. For now, it’s a great game to play when I take a break from the incredible Breath of the Wild. If you have been looking for an F-Zero style racing game, this might very well be the best option for some time to come, as Nintendo doesn’t seem to show any love for the genre. For $20 I am more than happy with the wide variety of courses and solid gameplay present in Fast RMX.
Fast RMX Review
- Graphics - 7.5/107.5/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
- Gameplay - 8/108/10
- Lasting Appeal - 8/108/10
Final Thoughts: GREAT
Fast RMX is a fun racing game and a great game to download out of the sparse launch lineup of the Nintendo Switch. Although the single player and multiplayer modes are mostly basic fare for a racing game they are also well done. This may not be the be-all end-all racing game of the future for the Switch, but for now it is a very good futuristic racing game.